Who am I? Name that Cardinal


During the past several weeks I have challenged Cardinal fans to name a specific player who wore the Birds on the Bat.  Some of these have been our past fan favorites.  Some of these have been that obscure player that accomplished their career highlight while being a Cardinal.  The theme that I have tried to utilize is spotlighting someone that had some type of impact on the history of the franchise.  A byproduct of writing this weekly feature is I have learned a tremendous amount of Cardinal history that I didn’t know.  As a Cardinal trivia buff this has been very rewarding.

As I sat down to research this week’s player, I had an idea in mind.  It was going to be a player that I use as my ace in the hole when playing name that Cardinal with my fellow Redbird fans.  I am not going to give you his name right now because he will make an appearance in the future in this feature.  It was during the research that I discovered a player and learned something about him that I had never known.  In fact, as I bounced the idea off one my co-writers here at Redbird Rants, he was completely unaware as well that this player had ever been a Cardinal. 

The interesting part is that it is not one of those flash in the pan players; this guy is a Hall of Famer!  He is one the better known players in baseball history.  So grab your thinking caps and see if you can figure out who this player is.  I think this will be one of the more challenging features yet.  So without further delay, Who am I? Name that Cardinal.  Here are the clues:


I was born August 25, 1946 in Steubenville, Ohio

I was signed by the Kansas City Athletics as an amateur free agent in 1964

I made my major league debut on September 15, 1968 against the Detroit Tigers

I was a starting pitcher.

I was considered a power pitcher.  However I continued to have mixed results as a starting pitcher.  What happened to me next truly changed the game of baseball forever.

In 1970, I was basically regulated to the bull pen and would make mid game appearances.  In 1971, my manager Dick Williams declared me a “closer”.  It was decided that I would only work the 7th, 8th and 9th innings.  This moved changed everything for me.

My last and final start came on May 7, 1973.  From that point on I was reliever.  A relief pitcher was very rare when I started my career.  This was basically a new concept and one that proved to be very beneficial.

On June 15, 1976 I was purchased by the Boston Red Sox.  Three days later the deal was voided and I was returned to the Oakland Athletics and was granted free agency.  In December of the same year I was signed by the San Diego Padres as a free agent.  I would play the next four seasons in San Diego.

I would lead the National League in 1977 and 1978 in saves.

On December 8th of 1980 I became a St. Louis Cardinal.  I was traded by the Padres to St. Louis with Bob Shirley and Gene Tenace.  We were traded for Terry Kennedy, John Littlefield, Al Olmsted, Mike Phillips, Kim Seaman, Steve Swisher and John Urrea. The San Diego Padres sent Bob Geren (December 10, 1980) to the St. Louis Cardinals to complete the trade.

My career as a Cardinal would last only 4 days.  On December 12th I was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers with Ted Simmons and Pete Vuckovich for David Green, Dave LaPoint, Sixto Lezcano and Larry Sorenson.

I would end my career in 1985.  My career totals included 341 saves, 1299 strikeouts, 7 all star nods, 1 Cy Young and 1 MVP.  I was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1992. 

My jersey was retired by two Major League teams and I defined the role of the modern day reliever.

My Handle Bar style mustache was my trademark.

Who am I?  Click here for the answer.

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